After having his first attempt to put Wesleyan ahead with three seconds to play blocked by the Eastern Conn. defense, Shasha Brown '13 (#11, photo) made his next try count as he caught an inbounds pass, turned, dribbled and launched a 15-footer at the buzzer that made a 66-65 victor of the Cardinals in a road game Thurs., Feb. 3. The game was originally slated for Tues., Feb. 1, but was postponed two days due to weather.
Brown finished the game with 30 points on 11-for-22 shooting from the field. He picked up 22 of his points in the second half as Wesleya recovered from as much as a 16-point deficit in the first half. The Cardinals did manage to whittle the 32-16 gap down to nine at halftime, 32-23, with a 7-0 run. The lead was mostly single digits for the Warriors until Matt Hogan '13 tied the score at 47-47 with 11:00 to go. The margin was never more than four between the teams down the stretch. Mike Callaghan '13 gave the Cardinals a 60-59 lead with 2:25 left before layups by Brown and Neal Creeden '11 spotted Wesleyan a 64-61 edge with :39 on the clock. Eastern got the next two baskets to grab a 65-64 lead with :08 showing. Two attempts by Brown later, Wesleyan had a victory.
Jason Mendell '12 converted both his free throws in the contest to keep his consecutive free-throw streak alive, now at 41.
Next up for the squad was a trip to Conn. College Sat., Feb. 5 for an important NESCAC matchup. The Cardinals built the game's largest advantage with eight minutes to play, 66-57, but the host Camels outscored the Cardinals, 24-7, over the latter stage of the contest to secure an 81-73 victory. Mendell, despite no trips to the free-throw line, had a big game with 27 points, including an outstanding 7-for-10 effort from three-point range. Brown added 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds to the cause. Also in double-figures for scoring was Callaghan with 11 and Otis Poisson '11 with 10.
The Cardinals now find themselves pretty much in a must-win situation heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Wesleyan hosts Colby Fri., Feb. 11 and Bowdoin Sat., Feb. 12. Wins in both games should be enough to give Wesleyan a spot in the NESCAC tournament. A loss to either team might leave the Cardinals out of the post-season. The game vs. Bowdoin is slated for a webcast and can be viewed by clicking < here >.